Soarin's plate was clean and he leaned back with a sigh, eyes closed. Satisfaction defined him in this moment. He was warm, full of tasty food and was hanging out with Fleetfoot. Life was good right now. The Wonderbolt's eyes opened as he heard a grunt from Fleetfoot's side of the table. Soarin' smiled at Fleetfoot at her suggestion to go one without her.
"No way, Fleetfoot," Soarin' said as he rose up out of his seat. "Mission ain't over till the last 'Bolt comes home!"
Without warning, Soarin' grabbed Fleetfoot and hoisted her up on his back. Fleetfoot weighed nothing and a quarter so it took next to no effort to carry her even in his fatigued state. The Pegasus began his march toward the beds.
"I'm gonna get you home, Fleets! We're gonna make i-WHOA-" Soarin' said before stumbling by the fireplace. Apparently Fleetfoot weighed nothing and a half today. Or he was more tired than he imagined. Or both.
"Welp. I meant to do that?" Soarin' said, wedged 'neath a Fleet. "But since I'm not doing anything else at the moment; I'm feeling a lot better. I'm warm, I'm not hungry anymore AND I'm pinned under Fleetfoot. Some ponies wish they could be as well off as I am. Howsabout you?"
Fleet's gave a squeal of delight as Soarin' swooped down on her and tossed her onto his back- which turned instantly turned into a peal of laughter as the Wonderbolt stallion took a few wobbly steps and then collapsed. "I'd be offended, if I could carry myself," the mare told him, in between giggles. As if to emphasize her point, she didn't even make the attempt to roll off her teammate.
"Welp. I meant to do that? But since I'm not doing anything else at the moment; I'm feeling a lot better. I'm warm, I'm not hungry anymore AND I'm pinned under Fleetfoot. Some ponies wish they could be as well off as I am. Howsabout you?"
In response, Fleet smiled and wrapped her forelegs around Soarin's neck, burying her face in his warm damp mane. "I have the feeling we're going to regret it in the morning if we go to bed like this," she murmured, close to his ear. Her heart was going double time, and she wasn't even sure if she was referring to the coldness of the room once the fire died down, not to mention the stiffness they'd feel upon waking, or whether she meant something else, something personal. Maybe it was both. And yet...
"But right now, it's really, really hard to care."
Soarin' realized he could probably move and get Fleetfoot off of him. He had the strength to do that...but not really the desire to do so. He just lay there, Fleetfoot draped over him, nuzzled into his mane. He was still pretty wet, but this was the warmest he'd felt in a long time. Fleetfoot was far more comfortable that any blanket he could remember. He could feel the heat on his skin, feel her breath on his ear and feel her racing pulse. Someone was excited.
"Hmmhmm. Fleetfoot, you of all ponies should know that I've done plenty of things I regret I regret the next morning," Soarin' said, in a low voice. Her muttering into his ear like that made him match her volume. "But that never stopped me from doing it, now did it?"
The Wonderbolt laid there, Fleetfoot still locked in her embrace of him. Just like he wanted.
"Hmmhmm. Fleetfoot, you of all ponies should know that I've done plenty of things I regret the next morning," Soarin' said, in a low voice. "But that never stopped me from doing it, now did it?"
That brought Fleetfoot up short, and she caught and held her breath a moment, trying to think clearly. She did know. She rarely remarked on it, except in a teasing, playful way, But she knew the way the mares of Equestria regarded him. She knew she wasn't the only mare in the world who adored and admired him, either. And she knew that enough playful flirtations occasionally led to more... well, she usually called them 'interesting developments' for her teammate. But they never lasted. And that was what they were on the edge of right now, wasn't it?
It hadn't been spoken outright. Nothing definite had been said. But there was a suggestiveness, an unspoken invitation. She could be one of those 'interesting developments' if she wanted to. And she did want to, that was the problem. It would be so easy now, to slide off him to one side, turn his head gently to face her, give him a kiss and let things go where they would. It would be as easy as falling. Yet both things had the same ending: Hard, painful, and breaking.
For a moment longer, Fleet tightened her hold on Soarin', perhaps hindering the eventual drying of his mane by the addition of a few tears... and then she let out the breath she'd been holding in a long, low sigh. Her pulse slowed. Unwillingly, she let go of his neck. She put all four feet on the ground. She planted a light, gentle kiss behind his ear and finally whispered.
"I don't want to be... one of the things you regret tomorrow morning."
Fleet stood up slowly and stretched, cat-like, before stepping away. She turned her head away and gave a cheerful laugh, as though no harm were done. Everything was fine, wasn't it? She gave the other Wonderbolt a light swat on the flank with her tail. "Come on, Soarin', Lets get to bed. That flight home tomorrow isn't going to feel any shorter if we're sore and tired." She headed for one of the bunks.
Soarin' felt a sudden squeeze around his neck and a kiss behind his ears before he heard Fleetfoot whisper to him. He understood what she said because he knew what his response had implied. Soarin' didn't blame her for declining, she had every reason to. In fact, Soarin' wasn't sure it was even an invitation he wanted her to accept in the first place. What he did blame her for was her choice of wording and the hurt he could feel in her voice. He had no way of knowing how a relationship between her and him would work, but something told he could never regret something involving Fleetfoot.
Regardless, Fleetfoot had decided to retire for the evening and getting in between Fleet and sleep was rather like stopping a boulder that was rolling down hill. Once it was going, you probably weren't stopping it.
"You're probably right," Soarin' said with a sigh. "Better to have lights out now then to wait until we're both completely exhausted."
Reluctantly, Soarin' followed Fleetfoot towards the bunks to call it a night.
Fleetfoot nodded. So true, So true. She glanced upwards towards the topmost bunk and spread her wings as if to hop on up there- but feeling their leaden heaviness she thought better of it and just dived into a bottom bunk instead. The sheets were every bit as chilly as she had feared, and she shivered a bit as she wiggled under them. They would get warm! All it took was a little time.
It was like Soarin' to make it easy on her, the mare thought as she ruffled her mostly-dry feathers and curled up into a ball. No pressure, no imploring her to reconsider, no sulks or regrets. Was she disappointed or relieved? Of course, he had lots of experience, she told herself, dryly, even if she doubted that he got declined very often. Her total experience consisted of only two partners, and both of those had been blind dates. And mares. Make of that what one would.
With a yawn, the Wonderbolt relaxed her muscles and spread out a little. The sheets weren't so cold, now. She thought back to what it was he had said- better to have lights out now then to wait until we're both completely exhausted. Had there been something suggestive in even that? or was she so tired now that she was practically imagining things? She giggled to herself, sleepily.
Soarin' grimaced as Fleetfoot scooped the easy to reach bottom bunk from him. The fastest pegasus alive just about always got first dibs on beds whenever she and Soarin' had to share rooms...whether Soarin' liked it or not. He figured she earned it, though. The trip was probably twice as rough on her as it was him. He'd let her have this one.
Summoning up the last remaining reserves of his strength, Soarin' made one big leap up into the top bunk of the bunk, landing with a loud, fluffy thud. Right away, Soarin' could tell that this was a nice bed. The sheets were nice and soft, the mattress was just right, the pillows were properly fluffed...quality stuff right here.
"Goodnight, Soarin~" he heard, half-giggled and half mumbled from below him. Soarin' leaned his head and neck over the bed and looked at the bunk below him before responding with his own:
Finally, it was bed time again. Soarin' curled up under his sheets and did his best to try and drift off... Celestia's morning sun shone bright as it rose over Equestria and its light illuminated the quiet village of Fairflanks. Sunlight creaked through the blinds of the cabins, lighting up the cozily warm room. With the lighting, one could see the fireplace had been re-lit to keep the cabin warm.
And one would also notice the absence of a certain blue pegasus from his bunk.
Slowly, slowly, Fleet surfaced from her exhausted sleep, to find herself in a strange place. This in itself was no cause for alarm. Between bases and hotel rooms, when on tour, she was quite accustomed to staring at an unfamiliar room upon waking. She lay still a moment while her dream- something about a dancing houseplant and a singing umbrella- faded out of her mind and the events of the past day- er night, were recollected. Ah, right. The medicine, the midnight trip, and she was in Fairflanks.
"Soarin'?" Fleet queried sleepily, kicking a hindfoot free of the covers and pressing it into the mattress over her head. There was no heavy resistance to her gentle nudge, so she knew the Wonderbolt was not up there. Which also came as little surprise. Soarin' hardly ever got any sleep, the mare felt. It always seemed like he was the last to bed and the first up. Not like herself, who could sleep for days on end, given half a chance.
She wished she would be given half a chance this morning!
Fleet snuggled back under the covers and contemplated whether or not she really had to get up yet. The room was warm, but the bed was warmer. She wasn't hungry, thirsty, and she didn't need to use the bathroom. "Five more minutes." Fleet mumbled to herself, pulling the covers over her head and turning away from the tempting sunlight back into the still sweeter embrace of the dream she'd lost. What was it... something about a skateboarding teapot...?
The wood in the fire crackled lightly as Fleetfoot hit the metaphorical snooze button. Apparently it had just been restocked to get the cabin warmed back up for the morning. It was a still, quiet, peaceful morning. What a pleasant turn of pace after last night's maelstrom. There was a light breeze countering the warmth of the fire, as the front door was slightly ajar.
Outside, in the slight chill and bright sun of the early morning, Soarin' stood on the front porch, stretching. Specifically, Soarin' seemed to be doing some kind of yoga, currently standing straight up on one hoof, wings stretched out to his sides and fore hoofs reaching upwards over his head. The Wonderbolt breathed calmly and held the pose, finding his center.
Just because he couldn't sleep didn't mean he couldn't relax, could he?
Under the covers, the Wonderbolt mare squirmed. She rolled. She tried one side, and then another. Nope. The harder Fleetfoot tried to sleep, the more awake she began to feel. Had she, in fact, been able to drift off again, it was unlikely it would have been for the five minutes she'd muttered to herself moments ago. As it was, it really did take the pegasus around that time to give up trying and make up her mind to get going on the 'waking up' part of her day. She kicked all the covers off, grumpily. There.
The cool, fresh breeze seemed directed upon her as though aimed by a fan and the pegasus gave a little shiver. The sweet taste of the morning was more than adequate consolation, however. With a deep breath and a sigh, The pegasus rolled out of her bunk, landing noiselessly on all four hooves. She gave a little hiss as sore muscles loudly reproached her. For Celestia's sake! Why were her legs tired?! Her wings, okay, fine, but she hadn't walked to Fairflanks last night! Then again, that landing certainly had left something to be desired. Or maybe she was just a bit out of shape. Ah well. Fleetfoot gave herself the benefit of a long, luxurious streeeeeetch.
On her feet and moving around without being dragged out of bed before 10am? Spitfire would never have believed it. But there wasn't any coffee. Fleet rummaged around and soon found the means to remedy that. While it was brewing, she quietly stuck her head outside the door and discovered her teammate in the Celestia Sun Stance. He looked almost asleep, but Fleet knew better. She watched him for a few minutes, reluctant to intrude. And just for a second, a strange, vague, ominous chill passed over her. It felt so real that she actually glanced up at the clear cerulean sky, expecting to see some cloud. But it passed as quickly as it came, and with a little shiver, Fleet brushed it off.
"Good Morning, Soarin'" the Wonderbolt said, softly.
Soarin' inhaled a deep, deep breath of fresh morning air as he held his stance. He'd learned of this strange stretching exercise during his travels, and while he was a skeptic at first, he'd seen results to prove him wrong. One old fellow he'd heard of started every morning with the same routine and he apparently lived to the ripe old age of 150! Soarin' didn't quite manage to get some in everyday, but he made a point of doing it whenever he could. And an un-busy morning like this, where he barely managed any sleep was as good a time as any.
The inner-peace and zen of the moment allowed Soarin' to shut out the minor shuffling noises he heard behind him. This was as close to sleep as he'd get, but he was fine with that. But what he couldn't shut out was a sweet, familiar sounding voice coming from behind him.
"Good morning, Fleet," Soarin' said as he exhaled and returned to a normal 4-legged stance. He turned around to face her, cracking his neck before smiling at his teammate. "How'd ya sleep?"
Fleetfoot was a little sorry to have disturbed him... but not very. He had looked peaceful and at his ease, even in that position, and the mare knew he never seemed to get enough rest, but...If I have to be awake, there's no reason he should be getting rest she told herself playfully and almost half believed it. It certainly wasn't that she really enjoyed having his attention, oh no! "I either slept really well, or really badly." Fleet answered him with a gentle laugh, "Since I'm awake at this hour. Could this be that 'morning' thing I hear so much about? It seems highly overrated, to me."
Even so, Fleet stepped out fully into the sunlight, her mane a mess, her feathers rumpled, but her expression bright. She dipped into a second stretch, forelegs extended in front of her, wings flared, every feather standing apart for a second. She yawned and straightened again. "Well, maybe its not so bad." she conceded, grudgingly, "It's a good time for having coffee in. And speaking of, I'm making some right now. Let's have a cup while we discuss the best place to pick up a train home." the wonderbolt remarked, ever-so-caaaaasually.
"Bleh, I've had nights like those, lemme tell ya," Soarin' said. "You'll figure out the answer in a few hours. And yeah, morning is kinda like the late night: no one's awake and everything's closed. Just a lot brighter. It's an acquired taste."
Soarin' had to admit, even fresh outta bed and after a long night of strenuous travel, Fleetfoot was still as pretty as ever. How the Wonderbolts managed to recruit and train so many cute mares was still beyond him, but it was something Soarin' was thankful for daily.
"Coffee sounds pretty great," Soarin' said. "Transportation talk less so. But I can deal."
The Wonderbolt grinned and walked back inside, taking a seat back at the table. He took a whiff of the air, already smelling rich with freshly brewing joe, making the little cabin feel even more homey. It was almost as comforting as the smell of pie baking in the oven.
"Is there anything else you'd rather talk about?" Fleet said teasingly, looking back over her shoulder at him as they went back inside. She grabbed a mug and the coffeepot, and carried them to the table. She couldn't read his mind...could she? For she added, as she poured the coffee for Soarin, "Keep in mind, any conversation about pie is likely to be one sided. You're the only expert on that topic. Ever."
Fleet giggled as she stepped away to go get a mug for herself, as well as the cream and sugar. "But seriously, though. Fairflanks doesn't have access to a train, but the Crystal Empire's not too far from here. We could be there by noon and in Canterlot by tomorrow." Fleet came back to the table and sat next to Soarin' before pouring herself a cup. Lots of cream, two sugars. "Not as quick as flying maybe, but do we have to be in a rush?"
It was hard not to grin, having coffee with Soarin' like this. But she was trying to keep her pleading puppy-dog expression. Last night's flight had taken more out of her than she'd realized, and she was ready to pull out all the stops if it meant taking the easy way home.
"Well, yeah, but that's not the point," Soarin' said as he sat at the table. "It's just that transportation talk is usually a lot talk about money and time and deadlines. And that's no fun. Gives me flashbacks of rushing to get trains while we're on tour, sometimes. But whatever, let's talk business."
Soarin' made his coffee as Fleet ran down their options. Two sugars, little bit of cream. Just enough cream to turn the coffee from black to a medium brown and just enough sugar to still be able to taste the coffee itself without it being overly bitter. The Wonderbolt took a sip of the hot drink and sighed. This was some good stuff, pretty good brew. Not the best coffee ever, but darn good stuff nonetheless.
"Fleetfoot, if you wanted to go on a road trip with me so bad, all you had to do was ask," Soarin' said with a wink before taking another sip of coffee. "But this seems like a good plan. Command's not in desperate need of us, so we don't need to rush. I think they'll be happy just to see us back at the Academy in one piece. I'm still pretty gassed, but I think I can handle a hike. We're traveling light, too, so it won't be too hard either way."
The pegasus grinned as he thought over the idea some more.
"I like this plan, let's do it!"
The Fun Has Been Doubled! is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic moderate-to-advanced forum roleplay. Set after the events of the fifth season, we currently have no overarching plot. Instead, we simply have created the world of Equestria for you as a giant playground to have fun in and to explore the magic of friendship. Canon characters and original characters are available for you to play as, both ponies and non-pony species alike! Just remember that we are account-per-character and we'll be fine!
So why don't you stay for a while, look around, and let us know if we should get a welcome party started for you.